Rising conservatives are as hostile to freedom as the liberals they disdain

Ahmari never specifies what policies he would endorse once his allies grab control of the levers of power – perhaps because such policies might seem authoritarian to the average American. But one needn’t take too many leaps to see where this populist-religious conservatism is headed.

“Government intervention will not be the answer to every social ill,” Ahmari writes. “In many instances, free markets and individual enterprise can best serve the common good, albeit indirectly.” So, Ahmari won’t use big government to control everything. He might allow some individual enterprise provided, of course, the rulers believe that it conforms to the “common good.” Well, that’s a relief.

That nebulous term, “common good,” drives me crazy. It means whatever people in charge of the government say it means. Those of us in the classical-liberal and libertarian camps believe that each individual can figure that out on their own without government mandate. They can do as they please even if we might not personally approve of their decisions. But Ahmari wants “to enforce our order and our orthodoxy” on society. Creepy, no?

Even creepier is this reality: Many influential conservatives no longer value liberty or the marketplace.